‘Rs 20,000-crore loss due to floods, drought in Karnataka’

Karnataka suffered an estimated Rs 20,000-crore loss during the kharif season owing to floods and landslides in its southwest districts and acute drought conditions in other regions, an official statement said on Wednesday.

“The prevailing condition is unprecedented, as the state was affected by floods and landslides and is facing acute drought conditions during kharif and rabi seasons, impacting the state’s economy,” the state Revenue Department said in the statement.

Of the southern state’s 30 districts, 45 taluks (sub-districts) in 8 districts were affected by floods and landslides while 100 taluks are reeling under drought due to scanty rainfall in the rabi season, it noted.

Heavy monsoon rains, which caused floods and landslides in Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts led to widespread destruction of crops, houses and infrastructure, besides displacing hundreds of people.

During the north-east monsoon period (October to December), the state, however, faced 49 per cent deficit rainfall, with north interior region that accounts for 90 per cent of rabi sowing, recorded 66 per cent rain deficit.

Seeds or saplings are sown during July-October for kharif crops and November-March for rabi crops.

During the rabi season, 153 taluks have been affected by drought so far, the statement added.

In the drought-hit regions, drinking water is being supplied to 283 villages through 524 water tankers and 315 private borewells (through pipelines) in 17 districts of the state.

“Since sowing has been impacted during the rabi season, fodder shortage is likely in the coming months. Fodder will be supplied at subsidised rates through its banks,” the statement said.

The state government has also increased man-days in the drought-hit districts to 150 days from 100 days across the state this year.

“Awareness campaign is being held in drought-affected villages to ensure greater participation of workforce and prevent migration from rural to urban areas,” it added.

A man-day refers to the work accomplished by a person in a day.

About 6 lakh man-days are generated per day and 1 crore per month across the state, the statement said, estimating over 10 crore man-days to be generated by March 2019.

IANS